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Local News

February 27, 2014

Lake levels down, stricter water rationing possible

DUNCAN — If Lake Humphreys or Waurika Lake drop below 40 percent of their conservation pools, the City of Duncan will enter Stage 4 water rationing, the city’s public works director said Wednesday.

Waurika Lake already is close to that level at 41.36 percent.

Scott Vaughn, public works director for the City of Duncan, expects that situation to worsen.

“I do anticipate Waurika will continue its downward trend unless we get significant precipitation,” Vaughn said.

Lake Humphreys has dropped to 47 percent of its conservation pool and Lake Fuqua is down to 46 percent.

If Duncan reaches the Stage 4 rationing level, all outdoor water use will be prohibited, with few exceptions.

The City of Duncan entered Stage 3 water rationing in September  after Fuqua and Humphreys dropped to 50 percent of their conservation pools.

Stage 3 water rationing limits outdoor water usage to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

On Saturday, those times will change to 9 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays and Saturdays. These new times will be maintained until November.

 Waurika Lake level is 14-1/2 feet below normal.

“All the cities are well below their ‘fair share.’ It’s getting kind of emotional,” said Dave Taylor, chairman of the Waurika Lake Conservancy District.

“We need about 3.6 inches of runoff to build the lake back up.”

Waurika Lake Conservancy District is looking at ways to tap into more of the existing water at the lake, possibly by removing silt from the pump area.

He said there are several options being explored. The conservancy district board was given permission to finish engineering options at its meeting on Tuesday.

“We’re looking at trying to access that last bit of water,” Taylor said.

Increased rainfall is needed to offset the current drought conditions, but weather forecasts are not promising.

Conservation efforts will help but are not a solution, said Taylor.

“You can’t end a drought through conservation,” he said.

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